Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bow Model Strike!

No more bows Mama! Puhhhleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The 25 Cent Tour

Well, I've got nothing better to do while my babies are sleeping so I thought I'd take you on a tour of my bathroom. It's very exciting which is why I'm charging you 25 cents--I accept Paypal and Money Orders, but we can take care of that later--I know you're good for it.

Say "Hi" to Mary. She's the first stop on our tour. Mary is from my Grandmother, and no, I'm not Catholic--just obsessed with this portrait for morbid reasons: a. I used to take it off the wall at night when I slept in my Grandma's house because I don't like faces looking at me when I sleep (this includes doll faces which must be turned to the wall), b. It reminds me of when people go hunting and hang a deer head on the wall--it's classy though b/c it's a Saint
Here's a candle-holder, also from my Grandmother. She's such a diva she preferred to be photographed in black in white (the candle-holder, not my Grandmother!).I find that its 70s sensibilities complement Mary perfectly.
Shower Curtain...I know this isn't exciting but just be thankful that I didn't take a picture of the grout between the bathroom tiles...seriously, be thankful!

Oh Look! It's a picture of us before children, Awwww....isn't that cute? We were so young and I was so thin....Shoot, now I'm depressed! Moving on...

I like my tissue box and...wait a minute...


Who in the world decided that a frog wiping his behind was a good marketing tool for this product? Are you kidding me?

This picture reminds me of those horrible t.p. commercials that use the bears to showcase the softness of their products...I think animals using hygiene products are disturbing. I've always been a nature lover and I don't feel that this is environmentally correct--I mean, if all the frogs in the world wiped their behinds with toilet paper we'd be in a heap more environmental trouble

Also, that frog looks awful happy...a bit too happy if you ask me...and I don't like his shifty eyes neither.

What commercials/product labeling disturbs YOU?

p.s. I hope that you enjoyed your tour, and no, the .25 is non-refundable!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Calgon Take Me Away!

Ever have one of those days where your kiddos are sick, it's RAINING, you're potty training, your baby is sad and fevery and fighting sleep and your toddler is angry and screaming NO to every question? Well, I am...right now! Here are some things, in no particular order, which would make it better:

chocolate...lots and lots of chocolate

a secluded island vacation

a nanny for the day

mmm...bubbly bath tub

...and one of these to rub my feet (the dreamy boy from pushing daisies)

What I actually have are one sleeping baby, one soon-to-be sleeping toddler and this:'s a start anyways..

Things I'm thankful for in light of my complaining:
* my girls
* rain
* a husband who is coming home relatively soon
* internet access
* Jesus

Amen and pass the Advil.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Don't Worry....I Won't Quit My Day Job Just Yet....

Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows that I mentioned a while back that I wanted to get into bow making--well, pregnancy and then a newborn got in the way of craft time but tonight my darling husband took me to get some starter supplies. I made two practice bows and they aren't horrible but nothing to write home about yet! I'll keep you posted on my progress...just because I want to...=)

p.s. they are a little cuter in person--I need A LOT more practice! they seem a little "huge" ha!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Do you ever just get ANNOYED?

So...the other day I went to a Doctor visit/consultation and happend to bring M with me because she is in love with her Mama, opposed to spending time with Daddy and a bit addicted to breastmilk...(there I said it--any men out there might want to stop reading at this point...ha!). So, I wheeled M into the consultation room and the nurse was admiring M, who at this point, started to cry--so I apologized that I brought a grumpy little baby but explained that I didn't want to leave her home as I am her source of food supply and Daddy was a bit nervous about being left alone with her. This nurse, who was VERY well meaning, surprised me by launching into a lecture about how I NEED to put my baby on the bottle because I NEED to have a life and to be able to go places without my child. And then she proceeded to tell me that people who use bottles love their children just as much as people who don't and that it will be good for both of us to get away from each other.

I was completely flabergasted. Seriously.

Now, I am not one to preach the virtues of any parenting path I choose--I do not feel it is my place to judge anyone's parenting decisions--

You want to co-sleep? Fine! I chose a crib this time but whatever works for your family is the best option!

You want to potty train from birth? Awesome. That means more diapers for a woman who was hard pressed to begin training at three and really would have liked to wait until four if I'm being honest.

You want to work out of the home while you have an infant? Cool. You know what works for your family! For my family, my staying home works.

You want to bottle feed? Great! I admit it's much more convenient to use a bottle in public instead of partially undressing to feed your child and I know that bottle feedin' Mama's love their children just the same as breast feedin' Mamas.

I would never tell someone that they MUST breastfeed and I couldn't believe that this lady thought she was doing me--a sily breastfeeding mother--a favor by telling me that I'm better off bottle feeding because she tried to b/f for 10 days and she realized it's not a good solution.

Anyways...I'll hop off my soapbox. I just wanted to say--that if ya'll make it to the end of the day with babies intact, in loving homes and everyone gets a kiss or two--well you know what, I think you're doing just fine as a Mama.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Princess in Potty Training--Praise the Lord for Numero Dos!

A DID it!

She put a number 2 in the potty with NO help from Mama! No prodding! No begging! She just decided to do it and flushed it down and waved bye bye to it! WOOT WOOT! The Queen of Number 2!

p.s. I do have more to talk about than potty training but if you can imagine it has become the all-consuming pursuit for this week!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Princess in Potty Training Chapter 6: Stall-ing Tactics

What's this you ask? A piece of modern art? Nope...

This is a stalling tactic...
This princess pictured here wanted to put off her potty work as long as possible and made this mess with a brand new huge roll of toilet paper. I usually am smart enough to take the t.p. away before I leave A in the bathroom--but not today! I think it took me 10 minutes to re-roll this roll! ha!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Princess in Potty Training Chapter 5: A Princess and Her Pee Are Not Easily Parted

Well, I'm happy to report that we are in full potty training mode over here and A is doing a bit better than I had expected, that said, we have a longggg way to go! Things I've learned this week while in training:

*Even if you lead a Princess to Potty every 15 minutes faithfully all day and limit beverage intake they will still pee on your floor a few times just for good measure.

*Toddlers figure out that if they just go a little bit on the potty you'll believe they went and then they'll pee on the floor 5 seconds later...

*A will sit on the potty 500 hundred times a day and all for 1 skittle--it's kind of amazing the power of the candy bribe.

*Contrary to popular opinion, girls CAN pee up...I learned this one the hard way.

I sincerely believe that potty training is like boot camp for Mommy(s)--I'll keep you posted to let ya'll know if I survive!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Awkward Moments Define My Life: The Mommy Edition

I'll never forget the first time I took A to the mall...I was one of those Moms who are totally green around the gills and had NO idea whatsoever at all and not even a little bit what I was doing nearly all the time.

She was just a few months old and as cute as can be, if not a touch cranky, and I had her strapped into one of these contraptions: Mind you, this is not a Baby Bjorn $200 front carrier--this is a $14.99 Target Special carrier that did the job but wasn't high on comfort or luxury.

Anywho, my Mother and I sauntered around the great Carousel Center Mall and stopped at a make up counter to pick up some supplies. Of course, this wasn't a dimly lit, back corner kind of make up counter--this was Clinique all full of bright lights, white uniforms, white EVERYTHING for that matter... My Mother looked down at the ground horrified and said, "Michelle, watch out! Someone spilled coffee here!" Sure enough, I looked down and there was brown splotches everywhere--the Clinique counter, the Clinique Stools, the Clinique Floor...

Ew, Gross! What kind of person spills coffee and doesn't clean it up?!

And then I looked a little more closely at the splotches...and at my skirt...and my shirt and my darling sleeping baby who had just had explosive diarrhea for the first time, in the mall, at a brightly lit make up counter, on the brightly lit makeup counter and all over me...

Cheeks flaming I ran to the nearest bathroom and peeled A out of the front carrier (no small feat) and then proceeded to peel off all her clothes--somehow she had pooped all over everything--through no less than 15 layers of clothes--she was wearing two onesies (I was a new, crazy mom after all, exact outfit pictured here by the way), jeans, socks, diaper, coat, snugli carrier...AHHHH and of course there were no back up clothes in my diaper bag.

I sure learned my lesson that day!

I finally got her all cleaned up and cleaned myself up (because at this point the baby was crying and ya'll KNOW what this does to a breastfeeding mother in a light colored shirt, needless to say it wasn't pretty) and placed my now angry, barely clothed, sock less baby in the Snugli and made my way back down past the counter b/c that was the only route out of that particular department store.

Urgh, fortunately the ladies were uber nice and gave me free make up since they felt so sorry for me but I will never again think of Clinique, front carriers and coffee without cringing...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hay Bales to Highways Part 2

The continuation of one country-turned city girl's story. You can read part one here.

...Moans and groans of, "Urgh! What's that smell?" rang through the old house that night after my mother had just turned on the stove for the first time to make us dinner. As the kitchen was filling with smoke and the air was tinged with some unnameable smell my parents ran to the stove to turn it off and investigate. Upon lifting the lid of the stove we discovered the culprit--a poor little mouse family--may they rest in peace--see, I told you--there were critters EVERYWHERE and I do mean EVERYWHERE! It was a long time until we got that mouse smell and that mouse problem under control...

Anyways, I grew up free as a bird being able to ride my horse, explore the fields, play in the pond, roam the woods, traverse the trails on a 4-wheeler--you get the picture. I do love me some country livin! My childhood was full of the chores that come with living in the country--planting seeds in the spring, baling hay all summer, stacking wood all fall, and then the winter would come.

Ah Winter!

You are but a fond memory to me. You see, in South Jersey our winter consist of occasional showers and temperatures that hover around the 40s but in Upstate New York it's a whole different story. We have things there like "lake effect snow" (code for a whole crap load of snow dumped on ya'll everyday without stop), 4 or 5 months of winter (oct-may)...etc.

So even though I embraced country living I had always wanted to see a bit more of the world so after high school I packed off to college in southern Ohio. I was very comfortable there as our dear college lay between a forest, wide open spaces and some cornfields--I was right at home...although I must say there were many things that made college better than home--friends available 24/7, all the book learnin' a country bumpkin who loved to read could ask for, and a certain music man who caught my eye my very first week of school--i'll never forget the first time we met...

to be continued...

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Winter Blast From the Past

It sure is COLD out there--in the 20s and falling to single digits! Of course, this is mild compared to the upstate NY winters I grew up in but it was all new to A last year! Here's a picture of us from last January. I was sure she would love playing in the snow--can't you tell how much she likes being cold and wet?

Brr...Praise the Lord for heat, sweaters, and hot cocoa!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Princess in Potty Training Tales Chapter 4: The Longest Yard

This Princess is wearing Barbie skates. Do you know why?
That's right my friends--after 5.5 grueling hours on the potty she finally went!
It all started when she woke up this morning with a mostly dry diaper. I set her on the potty at 9 a.m. and she watched some shows, ate breakfast, watched some more shows and by 11 I was starting to get agitated. I've never kept her on for more then a couple hours b/c I usually go somewhere every morning but today we hung tough at home. I was starting to get hungry and tired and a little annoyed at how content she was to sit and NOT go so I brought out the bribes--Barbie skates, princess clothes (a trunk full), skittles, stickers--you name it--it was out tempting her. After 4 hours I was really getting tired so I turned off the tv, took away all distractions/bribes, blankie and sat in front of her and told her you can do it!
we sang songs.
we prayed.
we did a dance.
we clapped.
we cried.
we read stories.
i tried scaring her.
i tickled her.
we laughed.
we hugged.
we cried.
we sang some more.
we prayed some more.
we talked some more and FINALLY
1/2 hours
she WENT!
A was thrilled she finally did it and was even more thrilled to have at those Barbie skates! We did it! Now...we just have to try to get it down to 5 seconds instead of 5 hours...wish me luck! Honestly, I'm just glad we've crossed this first hurdle!
Praise the Lord and pass the toilet paper!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Awkward Moments Define My Life: College Edition

One of my most embarrassing displays took place on one of my first dates with Mr. Wonderful. We had done a lot together with groups of friends but had just started seeing each other solo so for me, there were a lot of nervousness that got in the way of any sophisticated feminine wiles.

You see, Mr. Wonderful KNEW I was a klutz--it truly is a miracle that I can walk and talk at the same time--often, even that doesn't work out for me. (I'll never forget meeting one of my best friends, Rachel, at college--I knew we were perfect for each other when on the long walk to Chuck's, the dining hall, we walked into one another about 50 times and tripped over nothing at least twice a piece..but I digress).

I had made a mess out of, around and near him countless times--there was the first time I took my friends to his new apartment and told them in no uncertain terms to be VERY careful and I proceeded to spill an ENTIRE glass of orange juice all over his new couch, coffee table and floor. There was the time I dropped a whole chip's worth of salsa on his new shoes at church and the worst time of all occurred, of course, in a very public place.

It's actually one of my favorite pre-baby places to go--my beloved Barnes and Nobles. We would go there often on dates and sip mocha coffee (me) and tea (him). We would pick out tons of magazines and talk about anything and everything. Well on this occasion I grabbed a rather hefty stack of writer's journals, art magazines, and of course a glamour and cosmo... I was happily sipping my coffee when I decided to rearrange my magazines and accidentally (of course) knocked my entire cup of steaming hot mocha coffee all over his KHAKI pants, light colored shirt, my shirt, the whole, table, all the books and magazines, the floor...etc...

I was mortified....and so was he I'm sure (although he was far to nice to do anything except stare at me with his mouth hanging open for a bit). I'm sure he was thinking that I was a total nut job but luckily I was just foxy enough for him to decide it wasn't a big deal =-)

The rest of our date included the following activities:
*using a rain forest's worth of napkins to clean the mess
*the purchase of $50 of magazines which wiped my bank account clean
*me apologizing profusely and often
*me crying in front of him for the first time about the $50 magazines/books which were completely sopping wet with coffee
*walking around in public with coffee stained clothes
*going to do laundry since his clothes were completely chocolatemoacha-fied and since most of my clothes were too

It was horrible but I'm sure it's a date neither one of us will EVER forget.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Like it's 1994...

...Anyone remember curly hair and straight bangs? Well, I'm bringin' it back baby! ha!

Friday, January 11, 2008

We're Two of a Kind

It's going to be a long day for the Wonder Girls here at home--Mr. Wonderful and his Music Team are singing the National Anthem tonight at the 76er's game in Philly! It's very exciting to see his group get to do events like this but very sad to be home without him! We'll miss you Daddy and can't wait to spend time together this weekend! In the meantime, here are some things I am thankful for!

* The birth of Gwyneth Rose--All 1 pound 6 ounces of Miracle Baby--Read about her here if you haven't already!

* Our big and little friends and play dates with them all! Woot!

* Rainy days

* The warm weather and being able to go on long walks all week now that I've finally got my behind in gear to exercise a bit.

* My sweet girls--my heart is chock full of joy!

* Newborn Smell

* Toddler Kisses

* Jesus and His unfailing love even though I'm totally unworthy

* Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough...mmm....yummy

* All my bloggy friends! I love having comments from anyone who reads my thoughts--I feel much more connected to the people I love through blogging!


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Awkward Moments Define My Life: The High School Edition

I'm sure you can all think back to a time (or in my case, many times) where things just didn't go your way. It seems to me, that the things that stick most clearly in my mind are always those horrible moments that you just plain want to forget--it's all the good stuff that I have a difficult time remembering! Thus begins my new series: Awkward Moments Define My Life...Enjoy!

Installment 1 (a shorty but a goody):

During my high school years I was part of a travelling singing ensemble called Reflections. It was comprised of a group of girls (nearly all of them in the same grade as me) and met a few times a week for rehearsals and performed a few Sundays each month at area churches.

One of the "best" parts of being in ensemble was the super cool new outfits we were given to perform in (and when I say super cool I mean utterly horrendous even for 1995). Here is a picture of a similar dress--basically a maroon potato sack with long sleeves and the ultra-flattering t-length design...yikes.

The day after Mrs. Fuller, our director, had taken our measurements we had rehearsal. I was running a little late and got there after everyone else and when I entered the room my teacher was staring at me as if she were aghast--I figured this meant I was in trouble for being late--I can only wish that were the case... She continued to stare, eyes popping out of her head, mouth agape, until she proclaimed loudly and in front of all my peers--

"WHOA! Michelle! I better recheck your measurements--it looks like I should have ordered you a MUCH bigger size!"

This still evokes an internal CRINGE to this day...Fortunately no one commented on her outburst but I was mortified! Thanks Mrs. Fuller, public humiliation is always the gift that keeps on giving!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Princess in Potty Training Chapter 3: The Fake Out

I'll never forget the look in Mr. Wonderful's eyes--I don't recall ever seeing them quite so full of JOY before--not when I said yes to his proposal, not when our children were born! That LOOK of JOY was reserved for this special occasion--he was certain that after HOURS (2.5) of sitting on the potty that A had done Numero Dos!

Mr. Wonderful: She did it! She did it! Good girl A!

Wonder Woman: Um...honey, those are raisins...

Mr. Wonderful: (Looking utterly defeated) Oh...

A: Ha haha haha! (And runs away...)

Sorry honey! Maybe next time...

Monday, January 7, 2008

All Good Gifts Come From Above...

Today I'm thankful for:
* blue sky
* two sleeping baby girls
* good health
* warm blankets
* cool breezes
* working lungs....go here read their story, fall in love with them and pray with me for a miracle for Tricia, soon to be born baby Gwen and Nathan!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

mmm....I want some....

Gaze on it's beauty...

I think we need to petition the Cheesecake Factory to Deliver to my door!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Potty Training Tales Chapter 2 "Potty Talk"

A says while on the potty:
* Wait--My Cheesey Boy is wet! (When asked later what a Cheesey Boy was she said it was hiding in the sofa...yikes)

* I'm not going to pee I'm just going to do some farting! (Followed by said action)

Pre-Nap Conversation
Me: A, do you need a diaper change?

A: Wait a minute, let me pee in it first.

Me: ....(internal heart attack/stroke)

A: Ok, I did it. I peed myself--you can change my diaper.

Me: ....

Are you kidding me?!?

She's different...but I love her!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Hay Bales to Highways: The Story of How I Came to Live in Jersey

Well, I figure I had better tell you how I got to the country in the first place before I tell you about how I came to leave it. When I was 5 my family moved out into the country (from a lovely, new, "modern" house)--and when I say country I don't mean it wasn't congested and there were animals around--I mean it was RUSTIC and not in that cute provincial decorative way either!

The homestead we moved into was about a mile away from the closest neighbor which happened to be my grandparents. My Dad had spent his whole life just down the road where he grew up with his brother and three sisters and had wanted to enlarge our farm (which currently consisted of 2 holstein cows) so we moved next door to his childhood home.

My Dad's parents ended up moving to the middle of nowhere a bit after they were married and it was a BIG change for them! They came to the tiny fish-town of Altmar from the Big Apple! My Grandmother Rose Veronica had spent her life in NYC and was terrified when they moved to Altmar. She couldn't believe there weren't any street lights, was amazed at how dark it was and I'm told she went gray just about overnight because of how fearful she was of living in the dark, in the woods, in the middle of nowhere on a single lane dirt street.

When my family and our two cows moved to Altmar things were a bit better--the road was now two lanes and paved but we had things like coy dogs (WILD howling prowling dogs that ate chickens and possibly small children...well maybe not the children part) and SNAKES everywhere! Seriously, you couldn't go outside without seeing snakes (one time my dad walked into the barn and one fell from the rafters and landed on his neck) seriously, I couldn't make this stuff up if I wanted to!
And the mice...urgh! Mice of every color were running through that house and taking up residence in every nook and cranny--I saw black mice and white mice, grey mice and little holstein cow colored mice. And the bats...

I left out the best part of all--NO INDOOR RUNNING HOT WATER. Seriously, there was plenty of cold water but no HOT water! Of course, this was the first thing my handy man father fixed but we took plenty of sink baths before we hooked up the hot water!

I remember the first time we turned on the oven to cook a meal--you won't believe what happened...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Princess in {Potty} Training Chapter 1:You Can Lead a Princess to Potty but You Can't Make Her Pee

This is a Princess on a potty.

I bet you can't tell she's on the potty. That's because Princesses are very discreet when going potty...or not going as the case may be!

Really, this blog is a cry for help or words of potty training wisdom because I'm in over my head! This little Princess loves to sit on the potty--no really she does! She will sit on the potty all day! Every morning I've been getting her up and sitting her on the potty--I mean REALLY sitting her on the potty. She sat on the potty for over 2 hours each day this week after waking up from a 12 hour sleep with a dry diaper (I don't even know how this is humanly possible--after a 12 hour sleep I can't even look at a potty without wanting to go--but maybe that's just me).

Anyways, dear reader, you may ask, "Does she use the potty?"

Why NO!

She doesn't....Princess A is content to sit on the potty for hours without going, will ask for a diaper (or will be put in one just because we have to go out of the house), will help me fasten it (this is really what pushes me over the edge), goes in it and then hands it back and sits on the potty.


And no amount of Barbie skates and treasure boxes filled with Princess Paraphernalia or skittles will tempt her to go in the right place...

Now, I know it's possible for her to go because she was going everyday when she about 2 years old and then wanted to stop one day so I let her thinking--she'll really want to use the potty by the time she turns about 3...ha!

We'll continue to try each day until we break her resolve and until then--many tales to follow!